Recently, I attended a webinar and I learned something very important.
However, I didn’t learn it from the content of the webinar because the webinar was thoroughly devoid of educational content.
I learned it from what happened next.
The fellow teaching the webinar I knew to be a smart guy. I had gotten some good advice from him, and then saw him speak. In that talk, he shared a concept that seemed interesting. He invited us to attend his webinar the next week to learn more about it.
I signed on to the webinar, expecting to go deeper into this interesting topic.
As you may know, my time is quite precious. I have to be extremely selective whom I meet with and how I spend it, so when I invest 90 minutes in something, that’s a big investment for me.
Early in the webinar, he rehashed what he shared from the stage. He shared that he had an amazing, powerful, life changing, incredible process. He shared that people had gotten great results from this process. He talked about the decision process to decide if you should more forward (in buying the process).
77 minutes later, I realized I didn’t know one iota more about what I came to learn than I did at minute one.
AllI knew was that if I wanted to know more I should buy something. I didn’t even know what I was expected to buy or what it would cost.
77 minutes and I had learned nothing.
I shared this experience to Facebook, and I got a number of comments like these.
I don’t often attend these sales-inars because the education I attend is offered by people in my community: the kind of people I invite to be Mentors in the Entrepreneur Mentor Community.
I naively assumed that if someone offered a free training that it would contain, you know, training.
But apparently this kind of thing is super common. One person even shared that she had paid for webinars that were pure pitch.
I don’t mind an offer in a training. In fact, done right, that is a form of service. After you teach me something, you should offer the way for me to go deeper and get more of it.
But it’s after you teach me something. Not instead!
Around this time I thought “someone should do something about this!”
The problem is that there is no way to know before getting into one of these things if it is really going to offer training or just more pitches than Spring Training.
If only there were some way to know that a coach is the kind of coach who really offers content rather than wasting time with a pitch.
If only there were some kind of community that had as one of the standards that any coach in that community would never disguise a pitch as a training.
If only I ran such a community.
Oh, wait! I do run such a community.
Up to that point, it hadn’t been something I’d been thinking about because I never ran across it, but after this experience I added that to the rules for Mentors.
But here’s the thing. It’s not so much a rule. Because a rule is something you put in place for people to follow because otherwise they might not.
Rather, it’s more of a standard. The rule wasn’t necessary because the kind of people I invite to be Mentors wouldn’t do this. They lead with service which naturally leads to sales.
Were I to discover that a Mentor in my community did this, it wouldn’t be a matter of “you broke a rule and here are the consequences.” It would be a matter of “I have misjudged you and am now disappointed.”
So, if you are one of those people who have stopped attending webinars because you assume they’re just a sales pitch, then let me assure you that our Mentors do not do that. And if they do that, I want to know about it immediately.
Furthermore, I’d like to offer you this guarantee…
Should you find yourself in one of these bait-and-switch sales pitch calls, I will redeem your time that you have invested.
Leave the webinar and reach out to me (email, Facebook Messenger, smoke signals, whatever). Tell me what you were hoping to learn in the webinar, and, if you like, who was “teaching” it.
What I will do is introduce you to someone who teaches that thing and has resources that you can really learn from to get you the knowledge. It could be recorded content, YouTube videos, a book, or even a live event. But if it is live, it will be an actual live training. Not some sales pitch dressed up as a training.
“My first business was wildly successful except for never making any money,” is something that you’ll often hear me say.
That first business was Phoenix Games, and it created a robust and valuable community that was a great value for many of the people who were part of it.
Ultimately that community was done in by the scarcity created by the lack of money and by my own youthful arrogance.
I’ve always been a community builder. I personally crave connection, and I have never been terribly good at keeping track of individual friends. When I build a community, a space, whether physical or virtual, where the kind of wonderful people I like to associate with can come together, I can find the connection that I seek.
I hope that this also helps the other people in the community to find the connection, support, and love that they seek as well.
As I have been building the Entrepreneur Mentor Community, I have been giving a lot of thought to what would make it successful. Yes, I would like it to be profitable. It’s not a charity. It is a business. But money is a side effect of doing it right.
Too many people try to build “communities” that are nothing more than sales funnels. They are icky and gross. They are a pale simulation of community. Worst, they feed on our deepest desires as humans and feed us fake connection with the intention of manipulating us out of our money.
Then there are some who do an amazing job at building a loving and supportive business community. Joint Venture Insider Circle does an incredible job of this. When I attended their live event in October, it was like a family reunion. Hugs and smiles all around. Sure the event had good content, but what made it worth the trip was the feeling of connection.
So, what is my KPI on the Entrepreneur Mentor Community and other communities I might build? It’s my funeral. And my anniversary. And my birthday party.
I have come to realize that the ultimate measure of success for me is not how much money I can get in my bank account. It’s how many people will show up to my funeral. You show up to the funeral of someone who has touched your life, someone who has made a difference for you.
I want a community where there is true connection. I want the kind of place where if someone in the group hears that you’re coming to town, they’ll say “The door’s unlocked. Come on by.” I want a community of people that I’d trust to teach my daughter.
It’s not that money’s not important. My first community failed because money is the lifeblood of any enterprise. Without it, you can’t keep the lights on.
Money is so important that it must be made the right way.
And the right way is to build that community of trust, support, and love. People want to do business with people that they can trust. Not some artificial “know, like, and trust” but honestly and authentically knowing, liking, and trusting them.
That cannot be achieved through any funnel or any marketing strategy. It can only be achieved by putting good people in proximity (physical or virtual) over time to develop relationships.
As I look at the list of people I have invited as Mentors, and those I am continuing to invite. I give no thought to how much revenue they can bring to the project. I invite people who have the right spirit, the right energy, and the right character. I invite people who can help build this kind of space, and who, hopefully, are as excited as I am to be part of it.
Sure, we’ll make money, but my mission is to create something so much more valuable than that: a community.
There are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don’t ask questions.
The challenge, especially in business is that many of the questions we ask cannot be answered by Google. If you ask a factual question like the one above, there are authoritative sites.
But if you ask a question like “What social media platform should I be on?” or “What is the next step in my business?” or “How do I build an audience?” you will get advertisements.
I don’t just mean the paid results at the top. I mean that everything that Google gives you is an ad for something because everything you will see is there because money was spent on SEO, and they expect a return.
So the sites you’ll go to for your “answers” will give you “answers” that would suggest that the solution to your problem is to buy their thing.
Whether or not you buy their thing, you will get bad information because it is information that is given to you for reasons other than your own best interest.
One of the greatest benefits I have gained from having a network like I do is that I have access to high quality information. If I have a question, whether technical, strategic, or even philosophical, I have people I trust that I can get good advice from.
I have invited dozens of the most trustworthy and knowledgeable people I know to be Mentors in the community. These are people who know good information, and who share it for your benefit..
I’ve also found that, because I have done a little and this a bit of that and whole lot of the other thing, I’ve had occasion to ask most of the questions that entrepreneurs ask, so I either know a top level answer, or I know who does.
This is what I do in the Ask Me Anything Solution Sessions which are one of the privileges of membership.
Want to check it out? The next one is at 11 AM (Eastern) Wednesday. (They’re every Wednesday at 11.)
You can come once as a guest, and members can come as often as they need to.
You may recall a few weeks ago, I shared with you that I was going to be promoting programs for Virginia Muzquiz and Liz Scully.
I set things up so that it was really easy to opt out of the campaign while remaining in my community, and I’d like to share with you a few things I have learned doing that which you may find interesting, especially if you are interested in affiliate JVs.
Get ready for some numbers!
The industry average is that when one promotes a launch full out, like I did, 5-8% of their email list will unsubscribe.
“If this deal comes together, your commission could be $5,000,000.”
That got my attention.
I’ve been coming across more and more of these kinds of opportunities. Situations where if I can connect the right people, substantial commissions are to be made. But there’s a problem.
My network is substantial, but the true power lies in the network of my network, and their network, and most of these arrangements are built around the idea of a single connector making connections to their rolodex.
Have you ever made an introduction that down the line lead to substantial money being made, but you didn’t see a piece of it? 😰
With these opportunities, there are two issues I need to address. 1) How to fully activate my entire network to find the one person that my contact needs to meet 2) How to make sure everyone involved in making it happen is rewards.
😀 Enter The Connector Nexus or (Connexus because Connector Nexus is really hard to say). 😀
It’s simple. You fill out that form and give me permission to inform you of opportunities I come across.
Then, you introduce me to people you think might know the people I am looking for.
The form asks you for who introduced you to me, so I can track the chain of connections.
If a commission is made, that commission is shared up the chain. Naturally, the closer to the actual connection, the more they get, but the result is that you could introduce me to someone who introduces me to someone you don’t even know, and you get a portion of what comes of it. (You can see the math here)
Amazing connections occur. Everyone gets rewarded. We all win.
All you need to do is fill out the short form, read the updates I send you, and introduce me to well connected people you know.
I’ll do the rest, and if something comes of it, you’ll automatically get paid through PayPal.
I’m going to share two pictures with you that are very exciting to me but may require a bit of explanation to understand.
OK, a little explanation…
The first picture is now the view from my desk. Previously, there had been no whiteboards there and the nook on the left was a jumbled mess. (My capacity for success is limited only by how many whiteboards I have to map out ideas on, so now it is increased.)